This blog was co-authored by James Minninger, a security consultant with Sorensen, Wilder & Associates. A retired police sergeant in the suburbs of Philadelphia, he was an operator on SWAT, lead tactical firearms instructor and less lethal munitions operator. He is certified in basic and advanced SWAT operations, hostage rescue, basic and advanced weapons of mass destruction tactical operations and hostage negotiations.
When performing security vulnerability assessments in long-term care (LTC) communities across the nation, some common areas of concern exist: active shooter/armed intruder vulnerabilities, thefts, domestic violence incidents (staff and residents), drug diversion and elder fraud. These truly are valid issues facing these communities. But how can we design and implement a security strategy and solution to address these security vulnerabilities and mitigate further problems?
Several areas need to be considered when designing and implementing a total security solution (the P2T2 system): having the right People in place throughout the community, developing realistic security policies and procedures, staff/resident security training and having the proper integrated security technology. These areas need to work with each other to prevent gaps in the security solution. Let’s look at a systematic approach to diminish those gaps.
Step 1: Assess
A team of knowledgeable professionals with industry-based experience and expertise in the LTC environment should assess the community for security vulnerabilities. This assessment team, which consists of qualified healthcare security professionals, looks for gaps in the security environment, assigns a current risk level, provides solutions to mitigate the vulnerability, re-evaluates the risk again after solutions are implemented and then justifies the solution recommendation. The assessment team should interview staff regarding security perceptions and concerns, review current security related policies and procedures, research area demographics (crime statistics, trends, previous history, socio-economic, topography and environmental), review security-related training provided to staff, and look at the security technologies in place. All of these elements are combined to provide the most complete and accurate security vulnerability assessment possible and it should be compliant with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) framework for assessment of risk in healthcare.